Position: World History/US History Teacher, Link Crew Coordinator
School: Westwood High School
School District: Mesa Public Schools
City, State: Mesa, Arizona
About the Nominee: Katherine Reddy was nominated by a colleague, Richard Long. Ms. Reddy is one of the most energetic teachers one could meet. She is constantly relating what the students are learning in her classroom to what they are experiencing in their lives. She purposefully and intentionally asks to teach freshmen because she knows what an important year it is in the lives of the mostly low-income community that she serves. Ms. Reddy works tirelessly to make her classroom a safe space for all students. She strives to maintain a rigorous, supportive learning environment in her classroom.
In addition to the work she does in her classroom, Ms. Reddy is also both the History Club sponsor and one of the Link Crew Coordinators. She manages all of the History Club's activities and started the annual Veterans' Heritage Project, where History Club participants are able to connect with and gather the history of a US veteran. It is an invaluable experience for students to gain a personal, intimate look into the life of a veteran.
As a Link Crew Coordinator, she oversees all 130 Upperclassmen that serve as Link Leaders. These Link Leaders serve the 900+ freshmen that attend Westwood High School each year. She manages the Link Leaders as they team up to go into every single freshman World History class on campus and teach lessons to help freshmen connect with their new school. She also organizes yearly Freshman Orientation and Freshman Commencement, where freshmen have opportunities to integrate into Westwood as a school and connect with upperclassmen who can help them throughout the year. Additionally, she organizes specific tutoring sessions for struggling freshmen on campus, where Link Leaders mentor and tutor freshmen who need additional help in class.
Basically, Ms. Reddy is a rock star who spreads positivity wherever she goes. She is constantly looking for opportunities to connect with students and is a very professional teacher with her peers, as well. She literally changes the lives of multiple freshmen, Link Leaders, and History Club participants every single day!